Raptors Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Hawks
Party like it’s 80 million years ago: the Raptors are going to the playoffs!
Devin Booker is probably happy.
A 118-108 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night clinched the postseason for Toronto, which got 31 points and 13 rebounds from Pascal Siakam and 19 points and 14 rebounds from Scottie Barnes.
Chris Boucher scored 18 points, Gary Trent Jr. 14, and Fred VanVleet 12 in the win.
Trae Young had 26 points and 15 assists in defeat, while the Hawks lost for the first time in six tries and can now finish no higher than seventh in the conference. Teams finishing in 7-10 in each conference must partake in the play-in tournament.
“Obviously we wish we were higher in the standings but we’re not,” Young said. “We are where we are. We’ve got to take care of business with what’s ahead of us.”
Toronto (46-33) has now won 12 of its last 16 games and has clinched at worst the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They’ll next host the 76ers on Thursday, then the Rockets on Friday before closing out the season on Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
“We did what we set out to do in the regular season,” VanVleet said. “Now it’s time to go see what we can do.”
“They found a way to grind out enough wins to get them in this situation,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “I don’t think they were picked to be here, so that’s always a good accomplishment.”
The Hawks next host Washington on Wednesday before finishing the season with games at Miami and Houston. The team is 15-24 on the road this season—fewer road wins than any postseason contender in either conference.
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